Sun | Aug 9, 2020

Port Antonio to get bypass – Holness

Published:Tuesday | July 28, 2020 | 12:20 AMGareth Davis/Gleaner Writer
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, along with a delegation, views a section of the Portland leg of the South Coast Highway Project in Manchioneal.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, along with a delegation, views a section of the Portland leg of the South Coast Highway Project in Manchioneal.

Declaring that the town of Port Antonio in Portland is heavily congested and that future development on the horizon could be hampered and delayed, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has proposed a bypass for the resort town.

Holness, who toured the north-eastern parish on Friday with a delegation, including National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang, West Portland Member of Parliament Daryl Vaz, East Portland MP Ann-Marie Vaz, along with a technical team from the National Works Agency, disclosed that Port Antonio is the next big thing for tourism.

The prime minister pointed out that although the redevelopment of tourism is high on the agenda for Port Antonio, they have to ensure that such development is done appropriately, noting that emphasis will be placed on providing the resort town with a special kind of boutique, high-end tourism.

MAINTAIN THE SEASCAPE

“For that to happen, we need to reclaim the town. And what is happening is that your lovely, peaceful, historic town is taking on urban characteristics, and congestion is limiting your potential for growth and development,” said Holness.

He added: “I have given direction to the National Works Agency to find the best alignment for a bypass for the town of Port Antonio. That will then give us options now for further land developments. It will give us options for developments along the seaside. When I say development along the seaside, I am not talking now wholly and solely about resorts or those kinds of things. You really need to maintain your seascape, your ocean view, so that you can have promenades that people can walk and enjoy freely. All of these things are being contemplated. So this was a good term for Port Antonio and for Portland. And as they say, one good term deserves another.”

The prime minister, who also visited Manchioneal and Hectors River in east Portland to have a first-hand look at the ongoing road construction of the Portland leg of the South Coast Highway project, expressed satisfaction with the scope of work completed thus far. His tour was, however, cut short as a result of the inclement weather.